SBD/September 26, 2011/Franchises

NL Franchise Notes: Charles Johnson Now Giants' Largest Stakeholder

Franklin Resources Chair Charles Johnson is now the Giants largest stakeholder
In S.F., Matier & Ross reported Franklin Resources Chair & co-Founder Charles Johnson has “quietly become” the Giants “largest stakeholder.” He recently “purchased a portion of the shares held by Trina Dean and Tori Humphrey, daughters of the late financier Harmon ‘Buzz’ Burns.” Johnson was one of the owners “particularly unhappy” with outgoing Managing General Partner & CEO Bill Neukom’s “demand for millions in compensation.” With what is believed “to be more than a quarter of the team’s shares, Johnson will be de facto chairman of the board.” Matier & Ross: “But don’t look for the low-key boss to play a role in day-to-day decision making or even show up at baseball's owners meetings” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/25).

STAFF APPRECIATION: In Milwaukee, Don Walker wrote after the Brewers won the NL Central division title, “employees in the organization were invited to go to a stadium club to continue the celebration.” Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio “told the staff the beverages were on him," and he then "addressed the staff." He said that “while the fans and media correctly focused on the players and their performance on the field, he wanted the rest of the staff to know that he considered their work as integral to the success of the team as the players.” A team official said, “It was a great speech. It was a heartfelt thank you.” This is the “second time the Brewers have made the playoffs in the Attanasio era” (JSONLINE.com, 9/25).

DROP AT THE PARK: In St. Louis, Derrick Goold wrote the Cardinals “surpassed 3 million in total attendance” at Friday’s game against the Cubs. It is the “eighth consecutive year the Cardinals have sold more than 3 million, and that includes all six seasons at Busch Stadium III.” But the Cardinals averaged “around 38,000 a game this season, a 6.6 percent drop from 2010 and the steepest decline since Busch III opened.” It is the first time the team has “not had an average of more than 40,000 at the new ballpark” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/24).

NOTES: In San Diego, Bill Center wrote Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad said that the team has “already reached a 50 percent renewal rate for season tickets for 2012” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/24)....In Miami, Juan Rodriguez noted there is a new photo of a hat with the alleged new Marlins logo on it making the rounds on the Internet. Rodriguez: "Bad news for all those Marlins fans who hate the new logo" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 9/24).

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